English: Yellow Berried Nightshade
Hindi: Choti katheri, kateli
Sanskrit: Kantkari, laghu kantkari
Kateli has long been known for its medicinal value and is reputed to facilitate conception.
A common perennial herb growing in dry plains and low hills throughout India, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia.
A spiny, diffuse, much-branched, perennial herb reaching up to 3 m (Plate 56). The leaves are bright green, ovate and lobed, with purplish hairs on both surfaces and yellow sharp spines. Flowers purple, in lateral cymes. Berries globose, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, green with whitish patches when young, yellow and glabrous with green or white veins.
Traditional and modern use
The root is used in fever, cough, asthma and inflammation and as a diuretic and antiemetic. It is often used in combination with other drugs; for example, a decoction prepared with chiretta and ginger is prescribed as a febrifuge, with black pepper to treat rheumatism and with Tinospora cordifolia as a tonic in fever and cough. The powdered fruit with honey relieves chronic cough in children. Juice extracted from the fruits is used to treat sore throats and the vapours of the burning seeds have been used to relieve toothache.
The leaves mixed with neem oil are given to cattle for chronic cough.
Major chemical constituents
Solasodine is the main constituent isolated from the berries of the plant, together with solanine in the unripe fruits and solacarpidin.
Carpesterol, β-Sitosterol and norcarpesterol.
Chlorogenic, isochlorogenic, neochlorogenic and caffeic acids and the flavonoids quercitrin and apigenin glycosides are present in the fruits.
Medicinal and pharmacological activities
Antifertility activity: This has been demonstrated in various species. The crude alcoholic extract of the seeds showed spermicidal activity on rat epididymal spermatozoa which was 100% effective after 60 days of treatment at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Androgen deprivation was also observed after administration of the extract and a decrease in spermatids was found in rhesus monkeys. It reduced the number of immature and mature Leydig cells, along with a decrease in testicular protein, sialic acid and glycogen contents. Administration of solasodine lead to testicular lesions, causing a reduction of spermatozoa in the epididymis. The total protein, sialic acid and glycogen contents of the testis and epididymis were also reduced significantly and the testicular cholesterol content was elevated.
Antiasthmatic and respiratory activity: A whole plant extract of S. xanthocarpum produced a significant improvement in certain parameters of pulmonary functions in asthmatic subjects.13 Clinically the herb has also proved to be useful in treating individuals with cough and bronchial asthma.
Insecticidal activity: Antifeedant and insecticidal effects have been noted.
Other activities: Hepatoprotective, hypertensive, antihistaminic and antimicrobial activities have been described.
No health hazards or side effects have been observed with the proper administration of usual doses, but in view of the toxicity of the alkaloids, excessive use should be avoided, The prant should not be taken by pregnant women.
- Decoction: 56-112 ml
- Powder: 1-2 g
- Rasa: Katu (pungent), tikta (bitter)
- Guna: Laghu (light), tikshna (sharp), rukshna (dry)
- Veerya: Ushna (hot)
- Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
- Dosha: Pacifies kapha and vata